Our Team

Kari L. Allen

Production Manager

Kari L. Allen is the Production Manager, overseeing the daily animal operations.  She has extensive experience in the management of animal research programs after spending four years handling FAH KO pig and FRG mouse studies in Dr. Lillegard’s research lab at Mayo Clinic.

Brian Dacken

Chief Operations Officer

Brian Dacken is the Chief Operations Officer for Cytotheryx, ensuring regulatory compliance with the FDA, USDA, OSHA and other regulatory agencies, and overseeing the physical plant and equipment needs of the programs. Mr. Dacken provides input on pig and hepatocyte production, while ensuring staffing is appropriate to meet the needs of pig production, cell production and support.

Anna K. Haugo, MBA

Director of Business Development

Anna K. Haugo, MBA is the Director of Business Development, responsible for key account management, identification of new clients and collaborators, investor relations, brand development, contract negotiations, sales, marketing efforts and more. Ms. Haugo brings 10 years of fundraising and strategic development experience to her role.

Benazir Kerezoudis, MBA

Business Development and Special Projects Manager

Benazir Kerezoudis is the Business Development and Special Projects Manager, working cross-functionally in key growth areas within Cytotheryx. She is responsible for supporting Business Development activities, leading projects from initial brainstorming through implementation, and supporting the Company’s regulatory needs through quality systems and management.

Brent Pepin, DVM, MS

Director of Veterinary Medicine

Brent Pepin, DVM, MS is the Director of Veterinary Medicine, responsible for maintaining and monitoring excellent veterinary care in compliance with the requirements and expectations of regulatory and other relevant agencies. Dr. Pepin has a unique background in both clinical/practical swine medicine and applied research.

Ryan Schulze, PhD

Director of Research and Development

Ryan Schulze, Ph.D., is the Director of Research and Development and serves as the research team leader in the area of Liver and Hepatocyte Biology. Dr. Schulze is responsible for the development, refinement, and standardization of methods regarding isolation of hepatocytes from primary tissue, in vitro testing and handling of hepatocytes, and cryopreservation and reanimation of hepatocytes. 

John R. Swart, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

John R. Swart, Ph.D., is the CEO of Cytotheryx and previously served as President and CEO of Exemplar Genetics. Dr. Swart has over 20 years of experience in the biomedical research industry, focusing on business development and operations management.